Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 544 February 25, 1941

Overnight, the German-held port of Brest, France, is bombed by Avro Manchesters of RAF Bomber Command 207 Squadron from Waddington, Lincolnshire. This is the operational debut of the Manchester, the forerunner to the better-known Avro Lancaster.

At 3.43 AM, 45 miles off Sfax, Tunisia, British submarine HMS Upright locates an Italian convoy from Naples to Tripoli, Libya (4 troopships, 2 cruisers, 4 destroyers, 1 torpedo boat). HMS Upright sinks Italian cruiser Armando Diaz (464 killed, 147 rescued) and unsuccessfully attacks a destroyer.

Operation Canvas. Nigerian Brigade of the 11th African Division has advanced 220 miles along the coast road from Jilib in 2 days. They take Mogadishu, the capital of Italian Somaliland, unopposed and capture 400,000 gallons of fuel and other stores left behind by the fleeing Italians.

British destroyer HMS Exmoor (escorting convoy FN417 from the Thames estuary to Methil, Scotland) hits a mine or is torpedoed by German motor torpedo boat S-30. A fuel line ruptures, igniting HMS Exmoor which sinks 12 miles off Lowestoft on the East coast of England (105 killed, 32 survivors picked up by sloop HMS Shearwater and trawler Commander Evans).

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